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IRS Q3 2012: Mixed fortunes for Top 10 Language magazines

Three Bengali magazines – Karmakshetra, Karmasangsthaan and Saptahik Bartaman – along with Malayalam weekly Balarama have added readers in this round

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 4, 2013

The third quarter of IRS 2012 has brought mixed results for language magazines with four of the top 10 publications witnessing growth. Three Bengali magazines – Karmakshetra, Karmasangsthaan and Saptahik Bartaman – along with Malayalam weekly Balarama have added more readers in the current survey. Balarama has jumped two positions to No. 6 while Mathrubhumi Thozhil Vartha has taken a marginal lead over its sister publication Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika.

India’s largest read language magazine, Malayalam fortnightly Vanitha, continues to lose readership. With a loss of 82,000 readers in the third quarter of IRS 2012, it has recorded an AIR of 22.71 lakh compared with 23.53 lakh in the previous quarter, 24.44 lakh in IRS Q1 2012, 25.16 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Bengali weekly Karmakshetra has strengthened its position at No. 2 in IRS Q3 2012 which it had acquired from Malayala Manorama in the previous quarter. The magazine has recorded an AIR of 11.83 lakh against 11.68 lakh in the previous quarter, 11.42 lakh in RIS Q1 2012 and 10.9 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Malayala Manorama has further lost 60,000 readers and recorded an AIR of 10.53 lakh over 11.13 lakh in the previous quarter, 11.63 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 12.06 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Another Bengali weekly, Karmasangsthaan, has added more readers in the current round. Its current AIR stands at 9.96 lakh against 9.64 lakh in the last round, 9.34 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 9.07 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011.

Tamil weekly Kumudam has witnessed further decline in its readership. By losing 48,000 readers in the current survey, its current AIR stands at 8.21 lakh compared with 8.69 lakh in the previous quarter, 8.84 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 9.76 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

By adding 40,000 readers in the current survey, Malayalam weekly Balarama has climbed two positions at No. 6. The magazine has recorded an AIR of 7.78 lakh in IRS Q3 2012 compared with 7.38 lakh in the previous quarter, 7.87 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 8.07 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Mathrubhumi Group’s Malayalam weekly, Mathrubhumi Thozhil Vartha, has remained at No. 7 but lost a few readers in the current survey. The magazine has recorded an AIR of 7.45 lakh against 7.82 lakh in the previous quarter, 7.35 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 7.58 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Malayalam health magazine Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika has also witnessed de-growth. By losing 49,000 readers in IRS Q3 2012, the monthly has recorded an AIR of 7.40 lakh compared with 7.89 lakh in the previous round, 8.26 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 8.92 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

The third Bengali magazine in the top 10 club, Saptahik Bartaman, has also witnessed a small growth. It has recorded an AIR of 7.23 lakh compared with 7.20 lakh in the previous quarter, 7.34 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 7.20 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Tamil weekly Anand Vikatan has a current readership of 6.36 lakh compared with 6.66 lakh in the previous quarter, 6.77 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 7.28 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

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Average Issue Readership (AIR) of a publication is defined as the number of readers of that publication who have claimed to have last read it within its periodicity, i.e., last read a daily yesterday, a weekly within the last week, a monthly within the last month, etc.

This measure is considered to be a more relevant measure of ‘real’ or ‘regular’ readership, especially for newspapers, most of which have been read / ‘consumed’ as a matter of daily habit. Conventionally, media planners even calculate and compare cost-benefits of dailies based on the AIR figure. Hence, it is perhaps the most relevant to study readership trends as well in terms of AIR.

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